Outdoor Living Downtown – Vertical Gardening & More

        To say Nashville is changing would be an understatement. Vertical, residential developments are becoming the new norm as more and more people want to live in downtown, urban environments. The shift has inspired us to focus on outdoor living for everyone, not just homeowners with under utilized screened porches. Here are our top 3 tips for outdoor living, urban dweller edition!   Terrace/Patio Gardens As we see more and more Nashville high rise buildings go up, we think it’s high time we paid attention to vertical living and the implications it has on urban living. If …

Keep your home pest free this year

Now is a great time to establish year-long goals and resolutions, including home improvement goals you’d like to tackle this year. The first step is to create a pest control plan for your home. It’s important to establish good habits early in the year to help prevent potential pest problems. Unchecked, pests can wreak havoc in your home, but there are several steps homeowners can take to help avoid an infestation and keep their home safe and their family happy. Sanitize Clean your kitchen, pantry and any other places where food is stored. Remove crumbs and wipe up sticky drink …

Save Money Through Energy Efficiency

As much as half of the average homeowner’s monthly utility expenses go toward cooling and heating, according to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE). For many households, that makes energy the largest home-related expense each month, next to a mortgage payment. Fortunately, numerous technological advances are making it easier than ever to manage home energy use. In fact, the DOE estimates you can save as much as 10 percent a year on energy costs by simply adjusting the temperature up or down when you’re away during the day. Installing a programmable thermostat that never forgets to adjust on a busy …

5 tips to clean your home – and save the planet

Log onto almost any news website and in just a few clicks you’ll probably come across some story about the environment. Whether it involves international agreements, alternative energy sources or fuel-efficient cars, the discussion is often abstract and far removed from our everyday lives. Consumers want to know what they can do and how they can contribute to making a cleaner, greener planet. Minor changes can make a significant difference, particularly with cleaning your home. You can trade in harsh chemicals and wasteful cleaning products for sustainable methods that are just as clean, if not cleaner. Here are five ways …

Smart home update 2018: New products that organize your life through voice

The artificial intelligence that’s already taking the world by storm is ramping up even more in 2018, enabling a number of innovative new smart home tools that can make your life easier, more comfortable or just more fun. Throughout the year, consumers worldwide are expected to spend $102 billion on hardware, services and installation related to smart home systems, an amount expected to ramp up to $157 billion by 2022. The number of connected things installed in smart cities by next year? Nearly 1.1 billion, predicts Statista. Increasingly, people will enjoy the convenience of being able to monitor and control their surroundings with …

Replacing a furnace? How to choose an energy-efficient system

If it’s time to replace your furnace, you may be wondering if it’s worth the extra investment to buy an energy-efficient system. Or, you may be unsure how to choose an energy-efficient system for your home. “Energy-efficient heating systems can substantially lower your fuel costs over the lifetime of the system, so it’s well worth investing the time and money to find just the right one,” says Chip Wade, HGTV(R) expert. “Depending on where you live, an energy-efficient gas furnace can be between 12 and 16 percent more efficient than standard models, according to ENERGY STAR.” Wade offers some guidance …

Winter storm power outages on the rise – 3 ways to prepare

Winter storms can wreak havoc on roads, homes and personal lives. However, facing hours of cleaning up fallen tree limbs, shoveling snow or being cooped up inside with antsy kids might be the least of your worries. Experts predict more frequent and severe storms could lead to lengthy power outages that could affect thousands of Americans this winter storm season. In fact, increasingly severe weather is the chief reason power outages are becoming more likely, according to a National Governors Association report. What’s more, a study by the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory found the average outage lasts two hours and 20 minutes, but …

5 myths about solar panels, debunked

Home solar panels can drastically cut or even eliminate electricity bills, reduce a home’s carbon footprint, increase resale value, and may even help a home sell faster. The cost of rooftop solar systems has fallen dramatically in recent years, and most homeowners have the option of buying the system, leasing it on reasonable payment terms, or having a third-party pay for and install the system at no up-front cost at all for the homeowner. Plus, home solar systems are eligible for federal tax credits. All of this explains why the number of homeowners installing solar has sky-rocketed across America. Nevertheless, …

It’s time: Signs your heating system needs a tune-up

Temperatures are falling, pumpkin spice everything has reappeared — all signs that winter is already here. If you haven’t already had your heating system tuned up, now is the time. Neglect is a top cause of heating system inefficiency and failure, according to ENERGYSTAR.gov. Proper maintenance can help ensure your system works as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible throughout the winter. Failing to care for your heating system now could leave you without heat or with hefty emergency repair bills if the system breaks down during very cold weather. A tune-up is an inexpensive way to ensure heating equipment is operating …

Easy winter weatherproofing: Keep the chill out as temperatures drop

Households heating with natural gas, which is almost half of U.S. homes, are expected to spend an average of $635 on heating this winter — 22 percent more than last winter, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration — but some easy seasonal maintenance tips can make a big difference. “There are several simple, inexpensive ways consumers can save money on utility bills this winter, and still stay warm and comfortable as temperatures begin to drop,” said Jill Murphy, a home heating and energy efficiency expert with Lennox Industries. “By taking the initiative to weatherproof their home before the start …